The Best Sleeping Bag Liners

When it comes to camping or travelling a sleeping bag is an absolute necessity. It really doesn’t matter where or how you are traveling, but if you plan to stay overnight somewhere, be it in a hotel, hostel, a tent or even under the stars, sleeping bag liners are a much overlooked and essential piece of gear. Mainly it’s because they are very light, they pack small (small enough to fit in your pocket), they’re easy to use, easy to wash and clean and serve more purposes than you might imagine. Many people think that they are overkill, just another gimmick to sell to the camping, backpacking, outdoors community.

There are many reasons to have a sleeping bag liner as part of your kit, and we will go into more details of the different uses later, but two main uses are as a liner inside a sleeping bag or as travel sheets. Below we have stated the top ten sleeping bag liners in the market and more informed details to help you decide which one is best for your travels. On your next journey make sure to keep warm, clean and stay dry with your sleeping bag liner.  

Last Updated: June 18, 2018
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By Melissa Coleiro:

Sleeping bag liners have become more popular for those adventure nuts and campers. they help to keep bugs away from you, keep you clean and warm from water. We have updated our top ten best sleeping bag liners in the market below, check them out.

Sea To Summit Reactor
  • Sea To Summit Reactor
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fantastic warmth
  • Price: See Here
Coolmax Adaptor
  • Coolmax Adaptor
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great for warm climates
  • Price: See Here
Premium Silk Travel Liner
  • Premium Silk Travel Liner
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great comfort & value
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Sleeping Bag Liners

 

Sea To Summit Thermolite Reactor Fleece

This particular Thermolite Fleece Liner is the warmest of the Reactor bags made by this company. It's major strength that has been attested to by reviewers is that it makes a sleeping bag warmer, or it can even be used alone for a cooler sleep.

The Thermolite Fleece is going to provide a toasty warm sleep, and it's fabric has a brushed finish for extra comfort.
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Primary Material: Microfleece

Rectangular or Mummy: Mummy

Added Temperature: Approx +8oC

Adequate Breathability: Yes

Moisture Wicking Properties: Not stated

Available Colors: Black

Extra Long Size Available: No
Pros

Great from winter to increase sleeping bag warmth

Can be used as a summer sleeping bag on its own

Cons

Bulky compared to others

Coolmax Adaptor

Sea to Summit's Coolmax Adaptor liner has been updated with a more convenient and comfortable shape that conforms to a sleeping bag well. The 'traveler's' shape is only one addition of this bag, it also comes with a pillow insert.

You may be wondering, "What exactly does Coolmax mean?" Good question. It is a fabric that has been proven to effectively manage moisture, and it adapts to a variety of temperatures and levels of humidity. Even in the balmiest, wet weather, the Adaptor, well, it adapts to provide you with a comfortable night’s sleep.
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Material: Coolmax Synthetic

Rectangular or Mummy: Tapered Rectangle

Added Temperature: +4-5oC

Breathable: Yes

Moisture wicking: Yes

Colors: Blue

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Improves the warmth of your sleeping bag whilst reducing clammy skin

Good as a sleeping bag in very hot and humid climates

Very lightweight

Packs very small

Cons

Not designed for winter

Sea to Summit Silk Stretch

Sea To Summit makes their traveling sheets from strong, yet comfortable ripstop silk, and they have added Polyester and Lycra stretch panels along the seams. The reason for this addition of materials is that the stretch panels help the liner to move with your body while you roll or nestle up for the night's sleep.

The seams are reinforced and the bag is totally machine washable, so it's functional, durable, and long-lasting.

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Material: Silk

Rectangular or Mummy: Both

Added Temperature: +5oC

Breathable: Yes

Moisture wicking: Somewhat

Colors: Navy, Berry, Pacific and eucalyptus

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Improves the warmth of your sleeping bag whilst reducing clammy skin

Good as a sleeping bag in very hot and humid climates

Very lightweight

Cons

Not ideal for winter

Cocoon Silk Rip Stop

Cocoon Silk Rip Stop
Silk is great for so many reasons when it comes to a sleeping bag insert. One major factor of silk's benefits is that it is light and minimizes weight and bulk for the traveler. Silk is also super soft for your skin, and it adapts well to temperature changes. For example, it feels cool in the summer, yet it is warm in the winter.

This fabric also allows for either hand or machine washing to offer further convenience for a camper. This particular bag is Woven with a structure of strong silk threads, and the Ripstop Silk is stronger and more durable, so that it resists tears, and will last longer.
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Material: Ripstop Silk

Rectangular or Mummy: Both

Added Temperature: +5.3oC

Breathable: yes

Moisture wicking: Somewhat

Colours: Purple/Tuareg

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Improves the warmth of your sleeping bag whilst reducing clammy skin

Good as a sleeping bag in very hot and humid climates

Very lightweight

Packs down very small

Tough and hard wearing

Cons

Not an ideal choice for low temps

Cocoon Egyptian Cotton Liner

Cocoon Egyptian Cotton Liner
The Cocoon Egyptian Cotton Liner is a fantastic lightweight and roomy option for travelers looking for a natural fabric. These sheets are great for a rectangle shaped sleeping bag, and because they are cotton, they work well for warmer situations, because the cotton breathes well.

Egyptian cotton is a long fibered cotton that has been spun into a fine yarn, and this results in a soft, lightweight, and durable fabric. The Egyptian cotton tends to be lighter and more compact than liners made of regular cotton. This particular bag is a nice compromise between a bag made of silk or regular cotton, so if you are indecisive on fabric, it's a great place to start.
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Material: Egyptian Cotton

Rectangular or Mummy: Both

Added Temperature: +3.9oC

Breathable: Yes

Moisture wicking: Somewhat

Colours: Laguna Blue, Natural, Khaki, Tuareg

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Good as a sleeping bag in hotter climates.

Very lightweight

Cons

Not a great choice for extreme environments

The Friendly Swede Travel and Camping Sheet

The Friendly Swede Travel and Camping Sheet
This sleeping bag offers dual colors to choose from, which is a nice option for those who want a darker or lighter color. And the sizing of this liner is fairly generous compared to other bags, so it offers a lot of space for you to stretch without feeling constricted at all.

This bag comes with a life-time warranty, which tends to offer a buyer peace of mind. Not to mention, it is completely machine washable, and at the end of the day, it will keep you protected from a hostel's questionable sheets.
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Material: Polyester

Rectangular or Mummy: Rectangular

Adequate Breathability: Yes

Moisture Wicking Properties: Somewhat

Available Colours: Blue and white

Extra Long Size Available: No
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Great for taller or bigger people
  • Spacious 
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • If you don't want synthetic fabric, this isn't the bag for you

Dimples Excel

Dimples Excel
The Dimple Excel excels in a couple of areas. First of all, any green buyers out there will enjoy the fact that this liner is made from polyester that utilizes features such as organic and natural dyes and recycled materials.

This liner is also very lightweight, comfortable, and offers adequate breathability.
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Material: Satin

Rectangular or Mummy: Rectangular

Adequate Breathability: Yes

Moisture Wicking Properties: Somewhat

Available Colours: Monaco Blue or Silver Gray

Extra Long Size Available: No
Pros
  • Generous sizing
  • Money back guarentee
  • Convenient entrance
Cons
  • Tends to be a little slippery

Rab Poly-Cotton liner

Rab Poly-Cotton liner
This liner is a refreshing, no-muss, no-fuss type of liner that will have your sleeping bag protected or you safely covered from a hostel's not-so-great sheets.

It's a simple design with a straightforward opening, and it's made from cotton, but there is also a silk version available. While this liner doesn't come with any bells or whistles, it will do the trick of protecting you and your bag at a reasonable cost.
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Material: Polyester Cotton mix

Rectangular or Mummy: Both

Added Temperature: +3oC

Breathablility: Minimal

Moisture Wicking Properties: Minimal

Available Colours: White

Extra Long Size Available: Yes
Pros

Increases the warmth, extending the use of your sleeping bag through lower temps

Okay as a stand alone summer bag

Easily packs into its own stuff sack

Cons

Will not increase warmth enough to make an intermediate bag suitable for extreme cold

Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner

Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner
The Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner is made from microfiber that is warm, soft, and durable. The strength of this liner is that it offers those seeking a bit of extra comfort and warmth in colder climates a simple solution. It's nice, too, because it will protect an expensive sleeping bag from skin contact that can eventually wear it down.
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Material: Polyester fleece

Rectangular or Mummy: Rectangle

Added Temperature: +6oC

Breathability: Minimal

Moisture Wicking Properties: No

Available Colors: Charcoal

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Usable on its own in summer

Will increase warmth some

Adds comfort

Cons

Some find it a bit thicker than many others out there

Alps Mountaineering Rectangle liner

Alps Mountaineering Rectangle liner
The Alps Mountaineering Rectangle Liner is made from a high quality poly-cotton that allows breathability, but will still keep you warmer combined with the use of your rectangular sleeping bag. Like many of the liners on this list, this one also comes with a stuff bag for convenient storage and packing.
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Material: Microfibre or Poly Cotton

Rectangular or Mummy: Both

Added Temperature: +3oC to 5oC

Adequate Breathability: Somewhat

Moisture Wicking Properties: Somewhat

Available Colors Grey

Extra long size available: No
Pros

Packs down tight

Will add noticeable warmth

Easy to wash

Cons

Not meant for extreme weather conditions


Why A Sleeping Bag Liner?

Why would you want to take your own travel sheets? Maybe the hostel you are staying in is not exactly 5 star and the sheets provided are not very nice, and who knows who slept on them last and when they were last laundered, or maybe your hotel got the booking wrong, or one of a thousand possible ways of you having to stay in the budget hotel down the street. If you have a sleeping bag liner with you at least you know that you can sleep inside something clean and bug-free. And it will not take up any space or any realistic weight in your luggage.

The more traditional use is as a liner for inside your sleeping bag. A good quality sleeping bag is an investment that you spend a tidy sum of money on, and it’s not the easiest of items to clean. I’m sure that your sleeping bag is very clean, and there are no strange smells when you unroll it, definitely no crumbs from midnight snacks, no squashed insect or spiders you rolled on in the night. But unless you have cleaned it after every expedition and trip then it will have a build up of body oils, bits of dead skin and hair. Basically the perfect environment for bed bugs. Most washing machines are either not big enough to hold a sleeping bag and if they are washing a sleeping bag will fill the whole machine, whereas a sleeping bag liner can be washed along with the other day to day laundry items. Much more efficient for you and the environment.

Still not sold on the idea, want a warmer sleeping bag, a bag liner can add 4oC to 8oC of warmth to your sleeping bag, depending on the material used in the liner (more on materials later). Or is it the middle of July or August and a humid +20oC, you don’t want to be in your sleeping bag, but laying outside you are about to become an all you can eat mosquito buffet. Your sleeping bag liners have just become an ultra lightweight summer sleeping bag and depending on the fabric, breathable or with added insect repellent.

Additional Things To Consider While Shopping Around

As you can see there is a vast choice in sleeping bag liners, and they come in a wide range of types and materials. So how do you choose which one you need?

You need to decide on the time of year you will be using the liner. Are you only going to be using it during the spring and summer, in which case a lightweight breathable material is good, or will you be using it in the winter and therefore need it to give the maximum increase in sleeping bag temperature and a fleece fabric might be better. The weight of the fabric may be a concern for you, as well as how small it can be packed, especially if you are going to be backpacking, however, if you camp from the car then the size and weight are probably not and issue.

What is important is that you know the size of your current sleeping bag. If you buy a liner that is larger than your current sleeping bag then you will experience folds in the liner fabric, these can be uncomfortable, but mainly it enables the liner to cling to you and as you turn over in the night the liner will slowly wrap itself around you and constrict you, like a loving Boa constrictor. Is your sleeping bag rectangular or a mummy bag? If it is a mummy bag do you want your liner to have a hood or is the hood of the mummy enough? With rectangular bags do you want a pillow pocket to insert a pillow, Is a side zip important for ease of access?

Materials

What material or fabrics should I look for? This one really depends on your personal preference, but should also be chosen based on the most likely type and frequency of use.

Silk

Silk is a natural fabric woven from the cocoon of silk worms. It is very lightweight and feels luxurious next to the skin. Silk offers excellent insulation properties, due to its low conductivity. But it is absorbent and will soak up moisture (moisture wicking) and allow this moisture to evaporate, which makes it great in hot and humid climates, as well as cooler climates. Silk is relatively strong but will loose a lot of its strength when wet so care needs to be taken when washing the material. Because of the manufacturing process to obtain silk, the cost of this fabric and items made from it are generally higher than other fabrics.

Silk-Cotton Blend

As the name suggest is a silk and cotton blended fabric. The main idea is to reap the benefits of both fabrics. Silk cotton blends often have the same silky feel as pure silk and the increased strength. However, the insulation properties are lower than pure silk. In hot and humid climates Silk Cotton blends still offer good absorption and moisture wicking, enabling the wearer to remain cool through the breathability of the fabric.

Cotton and Egyptian cotton

Cotton liners are probably the most common. Cotton is a cost effective fabric and a lot less expensive compared to silk. Cotton is great in hot humid climates and allows breathability and absorption and moisture wicking, but in terms of insulation, cotton is a long way behind silk. Cotton liners are also heavier and do not pack as small as a silk product. Cotton does not insulate as well as silks, although the higher the thread count the better the insulation will be.

Egyptian cotton is not necessarily from Egypt but nowadays refers to the quality of the cotton thread. Egyptian cotton is a different plant than standard cotton and this along with the fact that Egyptian cotton is hand picked changes its properties compare to standard cotton. Egyptian cotton has longer and finer strands or threads meaning that 1 square centimeter will contain more threads and as such feel finer on the skin and be more flexible and stronger. Egyptian cotton is slightly more porous than standard cotton and as such means, it is slightly more breathable than standard cotton. Expect to pay a premium for Egyptian cotton. It is worth comparing the thread count of the fabric if such information is available, this will give you an idea on the quality of the cotton. The high the tread count per cm square the better the cotton.

Synthetics

Man made fabrics designed for a specific purpose. Some are excellent moisture wickers and breathable, such as CoolMax, others designed for excellent insulation as Thermolite fabrics are. The advantage of these is they are generally strong and easy to wash and clean. They will certainly do what they are designed for whether that is insulated or be breathable. It is worth considering these and checks if they are stretchable. Being stretchable will mean less chance of you becoming wrapped up tight because you toss and turn a lot in your sleep.  

Wool Liners

Wool liners and Merino wool liners are excellent insulators, and in the case of Merino wool feel nice next to the skin. The main disadvantage is the size and weight of these.

Treated fabrics

Some liners come with special treatments and coating, such as an insect repellent treatments which is useful if you are using the liner as a summer sleeping bag.

Washing your liners

You need to keep your sleeping bag liners clean, if not you are somewhat defeating the object of a liner to keep you and your sleeping bag clean. Most liners are machine washable, but care must be taken if your liner has draw strings or cords as these can get tangled in the washing machine and damage the liner. It is not always practical to remove these drawstrings, but something as simple as folding and knotting the strings and washing the liners inside a pillow case or a washing sock bag will help protect your liner from damage in the machine. All modern soaps and detergents are fine with the majority of liners however I would advise against fabric softeners or all in one detergent. Fabric softener can impede the breathability of the fabric and its ability or absorb moisture. Most manufacturers recommend drying the liners in natural air. This helps to ensure that the liner maintains its breathability.

FAQ

Q; Why are sleeping bag liners important? 

A: Sleeping bag liners are one of the most undervalued item when camping but most important as they add valuable degrees of warmth to keeping all of the bugs away. They are lightweight and very easy to pack for long hikes or portaging with a kayak even. They play a large role when keeping you clean from the dirt on the ground to adding an easily washable barrier between you and your sleeping bag.

Q: Where is the most reliable place to purchase a sleeping bag liner?

A: Sleeping bag liners are sold on adventure websites, amazon to stores such as Sail, Atmosphere to Bass Pro Shop or any camping store. They are very light so low cost on shipping fees and are very reasonably priced for their advantages they help with.

Q; What is the best material to purchase a sleeping bag liner in?

A:There are many different materials such as cotton, Egyptian cotton, wool or silk sleeping bag liners. Really the best one that suits you and your adventure such as wool would keep you warm, Egyptian cotton is very light and good for a summer night as well as silk. There tends to be a preference to be for Egyptian cotton which is a stronger, more reliable material helping you sleep tight at night.

Q; Can you replace your sleeping bag with a sleeping bag liner?

A: Absolutely, if you are traveling to countries or places where it is very humid or hot a sleeping bag may not be needed, but just like a sleeping bag liner you can use it as a bed sheet or alternate sleeping bag itself. Lighter on your skin and still soft to help you from sleeping against a mattress to keep yourself clean.

Q: What is the weight of an average sleeping bag liner?

A: Below is the weight and temperature for each material that sleeping bag liners come in. The average seems to be around 250-400 g.

The table below gives you a guide on the added temperature and approximate weight of sleeping bag liners made out of the listed materials.

Material Added temperature weight
Silk +5.3 °C 160 g
Silk-Cotton +4.8°C 220 g
Egyptian Cotton +3.9°C 260 g
Microfiber +3.0 °C 290 g
CoolMax +4.7°C 305 g
Thermolite Silk weight +6.3 °C 195 g
Dual Liner +6.5°C 355 g
Thermolite Performer +7.0°C 340 g
Thermolite Radiator +9.0 °C 460 g
Cotton +2.9 °C 410 g
Organic Cotton +2.9°C 460 g
Cotton Flannel +6.7°C 530 g
Merino Wool +7.0°C 600 g
Micro fleece Lightweight +6.2 °C
Micro fleece Medium weight +8.0 °C 910 g

Final Thoughts

Before you head out for your next camping trip you can pick up a sleeping bag liner. Now have a better idea of the top ten sleeping bag liners are on the market today and which one would suit you best your next adventure. Remember to keep in mind when shopping the weight of the sleeping bag liner for your next hike and the size you are needing.